Horizon Worlds, M words and moving first - Horizon Worlds 1

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Featuring Meta, Epic Games/Unreal Engine, HTC VIVE/VIVE Arts and Zuora

The Reality Wire is in danger of repeating this week—will we ever go another article again without using the M word? But this edition’s headline story, Horizon Worlds launching fully to the public, is too momentous to ignore. There, you see, there are other words beginning with M.

Meta (formerly Facebook) brought us news yesterday of the launch of Horizon Worlds (previously just Horizon) via, somewhat confusingly, the Oculus blog, soon to be the Meta blog presumably, once that stalwart brand of the latest generation of virtual reality (VR) technology is consigned to history.

Branding and naming bugbears aside (and to writers and journalists, oh they are many), the launch of Horizon Worlds to anyone aged 18 or over in the US and Canada follows the invite-only beta last year.

Very little is known about how that went, but after Mark Zuckerberg’s now infamous keynote address at Facebook Connect in 2021, we know that a ‘metaverse’, a 3D internet of the kind seen in Ready Player One, is Meta’s plan for VR, and a platform such as a Horizon Worlds is the logical next step.

Inside Horizon Worlds, users have access to “intuitive world-building tools” to develop their own Worlds, all in VR. Presumably, businesses will too. Think Facebook as it exists today but instead of Groups and Pages, you have Action Island TEAMS, where you can play a series of games with other users. It is highly likely that we will see a Meta World soon, so businesses will be able to see the potential of a branded presence on the platform.

At launch, there is also a co-op laser tag game to bring VR users onboard, plus the ability to hop between Worlds and begin socialising in a virtual environment. It is obviously very early days for Horizon Worlds, but we are interested to see how Workrooms is integrated for business and professional users, and as referenced above, which big brands Meta attracts to the platform first.

That is the question to take home from this edition of The Reality Wire: is it, like Meta, better to move first or early into the metaverse, or wait and see? The same might have to be said of the new Matrix movie…

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Images: Meta, Epic Games, HTC VIVE and Zuora